"My symptoms drove me crazy for two years before I was diagnosed with perimenopause"

Published: 2nd March 2020

Claire Dunwell, a patient of Dr Louise Newson, wrote this heartfelt article for The Sun, explaining how she struggled with perimenopausal symptoms for years before being diagnosed. 

After turning 40, Claire started suffering from a variety of symptoms such as migraines, anxiety and heart palpitations - all of which were unusual for her as she had always been positive, healthy and happy. After several trips to her GP, Claire was no better off and had been prescribed painkillers, antidepressants and beta blockers. She had no idea that her symptoms could be a result of her changing hormone levels.

At 42, after finally being diagnosed as perimenopausal, Claire searched for a solution and found Dr Louise Newson and the Newson Health clinic in Stratford-upon-Avon. Dr Newson explained to Claire that women can experience symptoms for up to 10 years before their periods stop and for some, the perimenopause can be just as draining as the real thing. Claire was prescribed an oestrogen gel and progesterone tablets and said "To say that it has changed my life is an understatement. The migraines are gone, the anxiety has stopped, and I feel like myself for the first time in two years."

Speaking of the perimenopause, Dr Newson says "Most women get some symptoms linked to changing hormone levels during perimenopause. Some have symptoms for a decade before the menopause. Guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says that if a woman is over 45, we don’t need to test for perimenopause or menopause. If they’re 40 to 45 tests can be useful, and if they’re under 40 it’s important to get a diagnosis. In these situations a woman experiencing menopausal symptoms should seek help and advice from a doctor who specialises in the menopause."

Click here to read Claire's story and the full article from The Sun.


Newson Health Menopause and Wellbeing Centre was launched in 2018 by leading menopause specialist and GP, Dr Louise Newson. Created to help women receive the most appropriate, individualised and holistic treatment for their perimenopause and menopause, it has quickly become a centre of excellence, providing care to women of all ages, both via remote consultations and in-person at clinics in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire and Lymm, Cheshire.

A passionate and tireless campaigner for better menopause care for all women, Dr Newson has also founded the Menopause Doctor website, The Menopause Charity, the balance app, Newson Health Research and Education and written a best-selling Haynes Manual on Menopause.

The Menopause Doctor website is a free resource providing a huge amount of unbiased, evidence based information about the menopause and perimenopause for women and healthcare professionals. The site has been adopted by the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) as an official educational library for menopause. Visit www.menopausedoctor.co.uk.

The Menopause Charity was founded in 2020, with trustees including sustainable health expert Professor Matthew Cripps and media ambassadors Davina McCall, Lorraine Kelly, Liz Earle and Meg Mathews. The charity has many exciting plans to help women and their families and colleagues with the challenges caused by the menopause, including an educational website, professionally staffed helpline and fundraising for research activities. Visit www.themenopausecharity.org.

‘balance’ is a free app that was developed to enable women to track their symptoms, access personalised expert content, share stories and lots more. Get the balance app at www.balance-app.com.

Newson Health Research and Education is a not-for-profit organisation from which all profits are invested back into the business. A Confidence in Menopause educational platform has been developed specifically for healthcare professionals and can be found at https://www.fourteenfish.com/menopause/subscribe

The Haynes Manual on Menopause is a definitive guide to help women, their partners and families cut through the plethora of misinformation and take a straightforward look at menopause. Find out more at www.newsonhealth.co.uk/resources/menopause-manual.